Pyracantha is a genus of 10 species. The small trees or shrubs are native to mediterranean countries and temperate zones of Asia. They are broadleaf evergreen plants which can grow up to 6 m tall. The leaves are small, ovate, dark green and glossy and grow alternating or in clusters.They have smooth or slightly serrated margins. The twigs have strong sharp thorns which can cause badly inflamed wounds. In spring the small white slightly fragrant flowers appear in clusters and yellow, orange or red berries decorate the tree from late summer until winter, if the birds don't steal them. The leaves, fruit and seeds contain hydrogen cyanide and are therefore bitter and slightly poisonous for humans.